Oded Karev: With extensive experience in corporate strategy and operations, Oded leads NICE’s global Advanced Process Automation line of business, covering the full spectrum of robotics solutions. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of Corporate Strategy at NICE, leading some of the company’s key growth initiatives. Before joining NICE, Oded specialized in delivering multi-channel strategies, operating model designs, and digital transformation projects for Accenture.
Oded is a respected industry thought leader and keynote speaker in the field of Robotic Process Automation and is frequently quoted in global media. So when asked about the extremely dynamic RPA industry here’s what he had to say: “RPA is most commonly used to fully take over the execution of highly repetitive and volume driven tasks, such as copying and pasting data, filling out forms, logging in and out of applications, preparing and distributing standard SMS or e-mail communications. Attended automation or desktop automation enables organizations to expand their automation efforts into the customer experience domain. Desktop automation technology is more intelligent and should have the capabilities to support a human employee within a dynamic and complex desktop environment. In addition, desktop automation technology is designed to guide the employee in real-time towards the next best action during a live customer interaction, resulting in enhanced customer experience and process optimization,” says Karev. “Lastly as organizations start to embrace AI and more cognitive technology tools, such as machine learning, chatbots, speech analytics etc…these cognitive tools can integrate with RPA platforms in order to automate more complex process scenarios with more advanced decisions and exception handling. What’s more, more cognitive robots have the capabilities to observe and mimic human behavior, enabling them to handle process exceptions.” Indeed adopting RPA leads to the attainment of unprecedented levels of business efficiency but it simultaneously also opens many more opportunities for human employees enabling them to reach their best potential in the workplace. “The impact of integrating intelligent desktop robots into the workforce accelerates process efficiencies and processing accuracy whilst boosting the performance of human employees. With this in mind, human employees are able to focus on more complex, higher value tasks which depend on human skills and judgment,” says Karev. As far as the big debate about the rise of robots and replacing people at work he clarifies, “The inclusion of RPA into an organization is changing existing job roles while also creating new ones. While the robotic workforce takes over the execution of the repetitive, admin and compliance driven tasks, requiring accuracy and speed, this may change the role of back-office employees. Once organizations have embraced RPA wholeheartedly and have established an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE), many new job roles will be needed in order to grow and maintain the organization’s automation footprint. Such roles include Automation Manager, Automation Business Analyst, Automation Developers, to name a few.”
Going by this RPA will go on with delivering new operational agility that will allow organizations to maintain a competitive edge and give rise to more skilled employees. For now, with the availability of cognitive tools, RPA robots have the capabilities to observe and mimic human behavior, within the context of executing a specific task within an operational process. “In practice, this means that a more intelligent robotic workforce has the capabilities to automate more complex processes, containing process exceptions, after observing and learning from human input. Robots can, therefore, learn from a specific, task driven, human input and adjust their behavior accordingly to automate specific process exceptions,” says Karev but he also points out: “Cognitive robots cannot, however, replace the many complex and rich intricacies of human behavior, social cues, and interpersonal skills.” So in the event of an error or a process irregularity, human input is imperative. NICE RPA platform again scores one more advantage by allowing a human to intervene, exercising judgment to process exceptions or irregularities. The machine learning engine observes human responses and learns to automate similar exceptions in the future without human intervention. “One of the NICE advantages in case of a robotic failure, is its ability to leverage desktop automation to immediately involve a human to sort out the issue and allow the automation to keep working,” shares Karev.
However, he acknowledges one of the biggest obstacles facing enterprises today, is selecting the right processes for automation. “Selecting a process which is too complex, involves a lot of steps and applications, or selecting a process which is not performed in high volumes across the workforce will result in missed ROI and an unsuccessful RPA project. In addition, in order to grow the RPA footprint and scale the automation, the organization must look at deploying automation on users’ desktops. While unattended RPA deployments typically involve up to 5 robots and can impact about 30% of processes, desktop automation has the capacity to support 10s of 1000s of desktops and significantly increases the percentage of processes which can be optimized,” states Karev.